Spades Rules

SpadesSpades, unlike many of the games on this site, is of fairly recent vintage, gaining popularity only in the latter part of the 21st century, primarily in America. Spades is particularly popular among college students for its simple rules and fast-paced play.

Spades is a trick-taking card game for four players, playing as partners. The object is to win as many tricks as you can during each hand. Each player is dealt 13 cards. Each partner makes a bid, based on the number of tricks they expect to take. The partnership must capture at least that many tricks in order to make their bid. Since spades are trump, the highest spade played on any trick wins the trick. If no spades are played on a trick, the highest card of the suit led wins the trick.


Spades Introduction Video



For complete rules to the game of Spades, follow the links below for detailed instructions and strategy tips, or check out one of the many Spades Books for beginners, intermediate players, or experts.


Spades Rule Links

The following sites provide authoritative rules to play Spades card games:

  • Dave Barker's Spades Rules
    Rules for Spades, both as a four-player partnership game, and as a two-player game. [archive copy]
  • Herbison's Rules for Spades
    "The rules for the game of Spades as played at the Marlborough, Massachusetts offices of Sun Microsystems (formerly HighGround Systems). These rules were brought to HighGround from the U.S. Marines by Pete Chestna."
  • Pagat Spades
    John McLeod's Spades information page, with rules and links.
  • Wikipedia Spades
    Information about the game of Spades from the free online encyclopedia.
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Last Update: September 18th, 2011